Rage. The dirty little secret of motherhood.
Distressing, debilitating, shameful.
Rarely the topic of play date gossip, it’s the skeleton in the closet of many a good mom.
If you feel like a demon is inhabiting your body, here are 10 things to know:
- Just because no one is talking about rage doesn’t mean you’re the only one experiencing it. When a mom shares her experience of rage with others she opens herself up to shame and ridicule, to being that mom. Not talking about it is easier, safer. On the flip side, telling your story can inspire others to open up to you and then you know you’re not alone.
- Moms of all stripes can experience rage. Breastfeeding moms, bottle feeding moms, corporate moms, Christian moms, hippie moms, hospital birthing moms, home birthing moms, moms of one child, moms of seven, attachment parenting moms, free-range moms, helicopter moms. Rage does not discriminate, and you don’t have it because of a label you’ve affixed to yourself.
- You can be a good mom and still have rage. You may not believe it at times, but you aren’t the world’s worst mom. You still love your kids beyond all reason and strive to do what’s best for them. You’re just also in a situation that’s stressful, suffocating, and seemingly impossible to navigate.
- Rage doesn’t necessarily have to do with your period. While it can be a symptom of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), rage isn’t always tied to your body’s hormonal fluctuations.
- Your rage isn’t about anger or being an angry person. It’s an attempt to gain control over a tough situation and protect yourself from feelings of pain and loss.
- You can’t control yourself. It’s like driving without brakes. Fortunately, just as you can choose whether or not you deal with your car’s underlying mechanical issues, you can control whether and how you address your rage.
- Rage is not a sign of weakness. Moms with rage tend to be total badasses, which makes them more likely to take on more than they (or anyone else) can handle and less likely to ask for help when things fall apart.
- Your rage may show up in explosive ways or as an internal seething, often unrecognizable by others. While yelling and throwing or breaking things may be the most noticeable symptoms, rage can also manifest itself in quieter ways. Only you then know it’s there.
- Explosive rage feels good—in the moment. The release in a rage episode is real, and while you may judge yourself for it, it’s one of the reasons you go back to rage again and again.
- Rage is not a life sentence. You can overcome it. You deserve to overcome it. For yourself and your kids.
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